Need a treat to bring to a special occasion? Vanilla cupcakes are always a favorite, and you may want to make an extra batch of these because they will go fast! They’re fluffy, moist and sweet, and ready to be decorated with colorful sprinkles that match the occasion.   ​​Reprinted with permission from Light & Easy Vegan Baking by Jillian Glenn, Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Jillian Glenn

Any Occasion Vanilla Cupcakes [Vegan]

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Ingredients

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup (200 g) cane sugar (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) melted vegan butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (7 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 g) regular or gluten-free all-purpose flour (for gluten-free, I like King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure)
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) rainbow sprinkles (optional)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 3 cups (360 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) softened vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Prepare the cupcakes or cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line 16 wells of a muffin pan or spray an 8- to 10-inch (20- to 25-cm) round cake pan with nonstick spray. For a loaf cake, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and spray a 9 x 5–inch (23 x 13–cm) loaf pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, use a fork or whisk to mix together the almond milk, cane sugar, melted vegan butter, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla. Then, add the flour and mix just until a smooth batter forms. Make funfetti-style cupcakes or cake by folding the sprinkles directly into the batter, if desired.
  3. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin pan or pour the batter into the prepared round cake pan or loaf pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top of the cupcakes or cake are lightly golden. If baking a full cake, you may need to bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Test the center of the cake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean—your signal that it’s done.
  4. Prepare the buttercream frosting: In a medium-sized bowl, use an electric hand mixer to mix together the confectioners’ sugar, softened vegan butter, almond milk and vanilla. Note that for a loaf cake, you will only need half of the frosting; either divide the ingredients in half or make the entire frosting recipe and freeze the remaining frosting to use at a later time.
  5. Remove the cupcakes or cake from the oven, remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. I find these cupcakes delicious with or without frosting.
  6. Tip: Want a 109-calorie cupcake without icing? Use 1⁄4 cup (50 g) of sugar plus 4 teaspoons (10 g) of pure powdered stevia in place of the full cup of cane sugar for perfectly sweet vanilla cupcakes.


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